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Leendert van der Cooghen

1632–1681, Haarlem

The son of a Flemish merchant and a daughter of the well-to-do Beeresteyn family from Haarlem, Leendert van der Cooghen enjoyed financial security all his life and never had to earn a living from his art. On the contrary, he was able to pursue his artistic activities on his own initiative and entirely for pleasure. He is thought to have been apprenticed to Jacob Jordaens in Antwerp in the late 1640s and probably studied with Cornelis Bega later on. In 1652 he was accepted into the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke, of which he was a very active member. Nowadays, van der Cooghen is best known for his drawings, on which he mostly recorded the correct day, month and year. Only a few of his paintings have survived, while his printed oeuvre encompasses no more than ten etchings. Strictly speaking, van der Cooghen must be regarded as a dilettante, but his corpus of prints and drawings reveal him to be a gifted and capable artist.